chapter  1
31 Pages

Long Waves Of Growth And Development In The Global Political Economy

The new millennium emerged amidst a whole series of global, regional, and national crises and emergencies. The threat of terrorism has struck at the heart of the social fabric of many nations, and some perceive it as the greatest ongoing threat to global security. The United States and some allies are said to be attempting to bully “rogue states” into submission, rather than going through more diplomatic channels, which is inciting retaliation in the Arab world. The Middle East continues to erupt in a series of hostilities between Palestine and Israel that seems never ending. Major nations such as Japan, the United States, and Germany were variously engulfed in financial slumps, deep recessions, and corporate fraud that eroded confidence before upswing emerged. Financial crises took hold of some nations in the “third world,” such as in Latin America,—especially Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay-which pushed the standard of living backwards. Some see the greatest crisis as emanating from the lack of investment in human and health resources to deal with the AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is spreading especially to some nations of Asia and the Caribbean. Meanwhile the threat of global warming and deforestation is impacting on the viability of agriculture and the survival of thousands of species, while the most powerful nation refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol meant to reduce these problems. Uncertainties abound as the nations of the world struggle to adjust to a world of globalization, shareholder value, US dominance, and neoliberalism that leaves many of them open to the ravages of creative destruction, change, and transition.